It was senior night for the Reeltown Rebels (2-1), who played host to the Childersburg Tigers (0-2) on Friday Night at Nix-Webster-O’Neal Stadium. Reeltown was victorious for the second time this season, claiming a 28-8 victory over Childersburg to open up regional play.
Childersburg received the ball to start the game, kicking off yet another week of high school football. The Tiger offense was not on the field long, as Reeltown forced a quick three-and-out. Reeltown’s offense also staggered out of the gate on its opening possession, committing two false start penalties and going three-and-out to start the game.
On the Rebels’ second offensive possession, junior running back Dakarian Hughley broke free for a 52-yard touchdown run. Following a successful two-point conversion, Reeltown was up 8-0 with 4:02 remaining in the first quarter. Hughley had a powerful first quarter for the Rebels, rushing for 77 yards on five carries with a touchdown in the first 12 minutes. He ended the night with 13 carries, 102 yards and a touchdown, all team-highs.
“My teammates, my O-line, they were blocking good,” Hughley said. “We had good looks, I just found the holes.”
The ensuing kickoff, Reeltown attempted an onside kick, which Childersburg recovered. The Tiger offense was once again stopped by the Rebels, who forced a three-and-out.
A fumble cost the Rebels another scoring opportunity, who were in the midst of a five-play, 52-yard drive and in enemy territory. The Tigers recovered the fumble at their own 30 yard line and sent their offense back on the field.
Two plays later, a high snap over the head of Childersburg quarterback Lamar Duncan sent both teams into a frenzy, as they tried to recover the loose ball that was pushed back inside the Childersburg 15-yard line. The offense recovered, but couldn’t convert on a long third-and-32, resulting in another three-and-out. Reeltown forced four three-and-outs on the evening.
Following a 14-yard punt return by the Reeltown special teams to put the ball inside the Childersburg 30-yard line, the Rebel offense went back to work. The Rebels wasted no time finding the end zone, when Johnny Brown took it 29 yards to the house on the second play from scrimmage. The touchdown with 8:15 remaining in the first half put Reeltown up 16-0 after another successful two-point conversion.
The Reeltown offense did it all on the ground in the first half, only attempting two passes. The Rebels ground game amassed 173 yards in the first 24 minutes of play, while their defense limited Childersburg to 18 rushing yards in the first half.
“We did a good job of running the football,” Reeltown coach Matt Johnson said. “If they were going to give it to us, we were going to take it.”
Childersburg’s only points came right before the half, crossing the goal line as time expired. The key play of the drive was a 37-yard pass from Duncan that set the ball inside the 10-yard line with less than five seconds to go. A quick spike, followed by a Reeltown penalty put the ball at the three for the Tigers. On the last play of the half, Duncan trotted into the end zone for the score, as well as the two-point conversion. Reeltown held a 16-8 lead at halftime.
The Rebels went right back to the running game out of the locker room, opening the half with four straight rushes and entering Tiger territory. However, a botched snap by the Rebels gave the ball to Childersburg, which now held the momentum. Two plays later, Duncan ran the ball 54 yards down inside the Reeltown 5-yard line for the Tigers.
Reeltown’s defense stood its ground, though. After a 1-yard rush on first-and-goal, the Rebels forced two sacks and an incomplete pass, resulting in a turnover on downs.
“Last week we just came out, we didn’t play with a swagger on defense. We didn’t have that grit, we didn’t have people flying to the football,” Johnson said. “I think you could tell pretty quick we got that back this week.”
With the offense back on the field following the redzone stand, Johnson’s squad began moving the ball down the field for another drive. An 11-play, 84-yard drive was capped off by a 39-yard touchdown pass from Gabe Bryant to Marcus Haynes on fourth-and-14. The touchdown pass put the Rebels up 22-8 with 1:35 remaining in the third.
Childersburg went three-and-out on its next possession, and it didn’t take long for Reeltown to put the finishing touches on a victory for senior night. The Rebels struck again through the air on their ensuing drive. This time it was a 48-yard pass from Bryant to Brown, putting the game away and essentially sealing the victory.
Reeltown (2-1, 1-0) will finish its three-game homestand next week with another regional opponent in Montgomery Catholic (2-1).